WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF) — Since sharing his story of survival, Waverly resident Madden Sanders now faces another flood - one of kindness and support.
"Everywhere he goes he's getting all of the loves, all of the hugs. People just tell him how much of a hero he is to them," said his mother Libby Sanders.
During the deadly flood in Waverly, Madden was ripped away by water from his mother and climbed onto a nearby shed for hours until he was found.
"I had my birthday which was at the Thunder Alley and I had a Robox cake and almost all my friends were there, and we had so much fun," said Madden.
He just celebrated his ninth birthday, all paid for by donations from friends and strangers.
"Monday all the mail came in and he got so much in the mail and from people meeting us at the door," said Libby. "Police officers came to the door and gave him a tote full."
With the outpouring of toys, Madden makes sure there's enough to go around for his siblings and cousins too.
Libby Sanders said people "saw his story online or on TV and they said that they just felt touched by him and wanted to send him something."
Each card or gift from a stranger is a reminder that during Waverly's darkest hour, even a 9-year-old boy can serve as a light.
"Thank you for caring for my little boy, thank you for everything they've done and keep the prayers coming, we still need them," said Libby Sanders.